The Arts and Humanities Program (AHP) provides four types of modalities throughout the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (MGUH): visual arts, dance, expressive writing and music. The use of therapeutic music has significantly grown in popularity in recent years. Music continues to provide immeasurable benefits to patients, caregivers and medical staff throughout the MGUH.

“Music really gives you the strength to make it through.” - patient after listening to AHP musicians

Currently, the AHP has five professional musicians-in-residence: Martha Vance, cellist, Anthony Hyatt, violinist, Miriam Gentle,  harpist, Tamara Wellons, vocalist and Karen Ashbrook,  hammered dulcimer player. The musicians work throughout the hospital, sharing their music with in-patients and out-patients, including those those in the intensive care unit, MedStar Cancer Institute, radiology, dialysis and other sites throughout MGUH.

Increasingly, physicians and nurses contact the AHP office to request music for an in-patient. AHP musicians are professionals who know how to read the mood of the patient and play accordingly. AHP musicians-in-residence are trained and practiced at creating a healing sonic environment.

“You have no idea how much, but you have raised me up today.” - patient to violinist Anthony Hyatt

The patients, caregivers and visitors aren’t the only ones who benefit from the AHP music program. Physicians, nurses and staff members regularly express their gratitude for the calming music that contributes to their work.

“I need to sit and listen to the music to lower my blood pressure.” - nurse to hammered dulcimer player Karen Ashbrook


For more information on the musicians or to request a music visit for a patient at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, please contact program coordinator, Morgan Kulesza at (202) 444-1171 or morgan.kulesza@georgetown.edu.